Unleash the MANIAC

Discover the lighter side of menopause - before, after or in the midst of "the change" - this is for every woman, in every stage of life.


"Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is uncertain, do the next right thing today."

Follow Us

Rants, raves and stories about all the "wonderful" things that contribute to a woman's menopause mania.


A Good Night’s Sleep is Very Sexy

by Dr. Jennifer Landa, M.D.

If there is anything that women complain is the source of their lost libido – it’s stress and fatigue. It is difficult to enjoy sex when sleep seems so much more appealing. Fortunately, training in preventive medicine allows me to offer real solutions for eliminating sources of stress and curbing fatigue – giving women their energy back and revving their desire for sex once again.

Sleep would top the list of priorities – if you were to survey the group of doctors I work with, I venture that all of them would say that no patient is more grateful than those who experience a quality night’s sleep for the first time in many years.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, 20 percent of adults feel too tired for sex. For women, one of the most common reasons for missing out on high quality sleep is due to the symptoms of hormone imbalance.

Often these nights of tossing and turning or waking at ungodly hours wide-eyed and annoyed can be remedied through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Women with too much estrogen and too little progesterone will suffer sleep loss, as well as women suffering from excess testosterone or supplementing adrenal extracts when they are not needed.

If your hormones are in-check, but sleep still eludes you, a sleep journal may help you pinpoint the reasons for your losses. Simply recording the number of hours you sleep and your mood and energy levels before you fall asleep and after you wake up, for a few weeks, can help you determine what habits are inhibiting your sleep cycle.  For example, many individuals discover that alcohol before bedtime steals quality shut-eye, while other discover that adding some physical activity to their day helps them sleep like a baby.

Once you pinpoint your personal needs for quality sleep, you can develop a bedtime routine.  I like to also give my patients these tips for creating an inviting sleep environment and maybe even incorporating some sexy time with your partner (once you are caught up on sleep.):

  • Turn down the lights! Too much light exposure (including the glow from the TV, an iPad or even a bright alarm clock) can suppress secretion of melatonin and disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Read – just be certain to choose a soothing story – anything related to work or something  so suspenseful it makes your heart race, will keep you from winding down.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Brew some tea – sipping on chamomile or passionflower tea while you cuddle with your partner can help you drift to off peacefully.
  • Have sex! Think of the relaxing sensation that often follows an intimate session with your partner.
  • Avoid food, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco – all these can stimulate your brain and your body and stifle sleep.

Once you achieve adequate sleep, you will begin to see improvements in your desire for sex.  Maintain your bedroom as a haven for sleep and sex only – this will keep stress and energy-zapping feelings at the door.

Dr. Jen has more solutions to the top sex-drive sinkers in her new book, The Sex Drive Solution for Women, on sale February 2012.


Fitness & Nutrition Tips for Women Over 40


by Bob Ghelfi, M.D.

For women, the decades of 40 and beyond are full of evolution. At this point in life, many women begin to experience hormonal imbalances that can create a multitude of symptoms. Balanced nutrition and exercise can diminish those symptoms and contribute to a greater sense of well-being.


  • Cardio. At some point in history, cardiovascular activity became synonymous with running, but many, many other activities will get your heart pumping, such as dance, fast-paced walking, rollerblading, cycling or hiking. Cardio exercise boosts the release of endorphins, so not only do you torch calories, but your reduce stress, depression and anxiety. Raising your heart rate also widens bloods vessels, increases oxygen delivery to the muscles and carries away toxins.
  • Resistance. Women are notorious for shying away from the weight room, but it is the single most important thing you can do to preserve your upright posture and sustain bone density. Strength training not only builds muscle and strength, but it increases your metabolic rate, so even when you are not working out, you are burning more calories. You don’t have to lose your femininity to strength train – Pilates, some types of Yoga, resistance bands and the TRX straps are all excellent ways to strength train without bulking up.
  • Flexibility. Women can reduce injury by maximizing flexibility and improving core strength. Stretching is ideal for keeping joints functioning throughout life maintaining full range of motion. Pilates and Yoga are two disciplines that ensure you get the most out of your efforts.  Stretching before or after a workout, for at least 15 minutes can be beneficial as well, but form is important, so take tips from a professional or visit a stretching class.


  • Calcium. Most women know that calcium is important and that the risk for osteoporosis is high, but what many women may not realize is how little calcium they intake. It is not unusual for women, starting at a young age, to consume inadequate amounts of calcium. Although bone density reached its peak in a woman’s late twenties to age thirty, calcium is still important to maintenance. Pharmaceutical grade calcium supplements, milk, dark leafy greens, like spinach and certain nuts, like almonds can provide calcium.  Be certain not to consume your calcium with caffeine or iron, as this diminishes the absorption by the body.
  • Vitamin D. As more and more studies conclude, vitamin D is becoming a crucial nutrient for optimal health. Vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a nutrient inside the body – playing a role in bone health, mood regulation, immunity and disease prevention. The sun is your best “source” of vitamin D – your skin absorbs the sun’s rays to be converted in the body to the most useful form of vitamin D. Mushrooms are a new source of bioavailable vitamin D, as some manufacturers have begun fortifying this vegetable.
  • Iron. Iron is another important nutrient for women. Prior to menopause, a great deal of iron may be lost due to menstruation. The need tapers off between the ages of 40 and 50 with the onset of menopause. Nonetheless, for an active lifestyle, iron is vital.  The most optimal source of iron is cooking in an iron skillet – the mineral leaches into the food and sustains bioavailability.

Aging well is definitely an option – it can be challenging with daily stressors, a non-stop, busy lifestyle and the temptation of modern conveniences.  Careful planning is the key to success.  Eat a variety of foods – particularly vegetables and moderate servings of fruit. Choose lean proteins and drink plenty of water.  Make exercise a habit, not just something you do. Your forties is a time when hormone levels can begin to decline, so testing and monitoring of your hormone levels is also necessary to achieve balance.


Safe Menopausal Relief through Hormone Therapy


By Dr. Keith Wharton

This month will mark the fifteen-year anniversary of the halting of the 1991 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which sought to determine the safety, efficacy and additional benefits of synthetic hormone replacement therapy, not bioidentical. The journal, Climacteric, by the International Menopause Society publishes a series of articles offering conclusive evidence that the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweigh the risks.

In July of 2002, data from the WHI suggested that therapy using synthetic estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone) increased the risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer in women compared with those taking a placebo. The study was promptly halted, leaving a lingering dark cloud over hormone replacement therapy. Millions of women have been left without hope for relief from the symptoms of menopause.

Over the course of the last ten years, large scale analyses and comparative research has found that the risks observed in the WHI study pertained primarily to women who began HRT after menopause and, in fact, the majority of women in the HRT study were twelve years past menopause when treatment began. The articles in the journal reveal a series of conclusive findings that HRT benefits exceed the risks, including lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and improving bone density.


Managing Toxins in Your Environment


by Dr. Michael Grossman, Medical Director of BodyLogicMD of Irvine

Environmental toxinsToday’s environment is filled with a variety of toxins that were not present 50 to 100 years ago. Pesticides, plastics, food additives and genetically modified foods are all possible toxins.  These toxins have to be processed by the liver in order to be excreted from the body. Liver toxicity is the common culprit of patients that complain of chronic distress, such as fatigue and moodiness.

Some people are genetically more efficient at dealing with the toxic environment than others. Individuals that struggle with the elimination of toxins need high doses of nutrients and other herbs to assist their body in detoxification of these pollutants. People with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, headaches, skin rashes, stomach upsets, alternating diarrhea and constipation need to focus on detoxification.

My track record for improving outcomes with these forms of chronic distress is approximately 90 percent, seeing dramatic improvements in their health and well-being within four months. Some testing can help to evaluate liver functioning, but the standard blood tests are not sufficient.  An ultrasound of the liver may show toxicity in the form of fatty deposits.  In some cases, heavy metal testing may be valuable.

Often a trial of nutrient detoxification powders along with a very restricted diet for a period of two weeks will dramatically remove toxicity and improve symptomology.

I believe that everyone can change their eating, nutrient intake, lifestyle in order to create vibrant health.


Relief from Symptoms of Menopause through Bioidentical Hormone Therapy


By Dr. Jennifer Landa

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is an effective and safe means for women to find relief from menopause symptoms. There are individual and combination therapies available, along with a variety of delivery methods. Physicians specializing in BHRT can accurately assess your needs through detailed lab testing to determine which hormones and delivery methods are right for you.

Estrogen is linked to many, functions that impact beauty and function in women. Low estrogen is linked to diminished sex drive because the vaginal walls become thinner and drier with low levels of this hormone – making sexual intercourse painful. Orgasms often become more difficult to achieve and less intense. Low estrogen may also cause a reduction in collagen – which is responsible for building skin and connective tissue – leading to thin, dry, wrinkled skin.

Progesterone has multiple functions within the female body, regulating several other hormones: estrogen, testosterone, cortisol – without it or with low levels – your health and quality of life is threatened. Progesterone plays a role in the central nervous system, producing calming effects and impacting memory and cognitive ability. Progesterone also works in conjunction with estrogen to help cells form new bone and downplay the effects of mineral corticosteroids. It is pivotal in reducing water-retention and bloating.

Testosterone – women need it too – generally in lower quantities than men, but it is definitely necessary. In women, testosterone plays a role in building and sustaining lean muscle mass, managing mood swings and sex drive.


Menopause in Your 50s: Sharpen Your Mind

Brain Boost

Brain-fog moments (where is my purse?) are a real phenomenon for menopausal women, according to research from the University of Rochester. According to Family Circle magazine, Donnica Moore, M.D., advises patients to address sleep problems first: “Exhaustion is usually at the root of concentration and focus issues,” she says.

improve memory

To keep your mind sharp:

  1. Exercise: physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive function.
  2. Meditate: take the time to relax and think of nothing. Let everything go.
  3. Go fish: eat or supplement fish oil. Studies have shown EPA and DHA to be effective in sustaining cognition.
  4. Brain Boost Program


Contact a BodyLogicMD affiliated physician near you to give your brain the boost it needs and deserves!


Can’t Fight Fat? It May Be Adrenal Fatigue


by Dr. Jennifer Landa, M.D.

Has getting dressed every morning become the chore of the century lately? Everything is a smidge too tight, some tops or pants will not even button closed or zip up?  You, like many over-worked Americans, may be suffering from the effects of adrenal fatigue, a condition related to the impairment of the adrenal system. The pounds won’t budge if you are suffering from this stress-induced condition.

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue describes the chronic fatigue commonly affecting millions of men and women worldwide.  The adrenal glands rest on top of each kidney, secreting hormones and neurotransmitters, such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemical messengers are vital to stress management, immune function and many functions of daily living. The adrenal glands secrete these hormones as a “fight or flight” response to deal with stress. When you have endured too much stress, your adrenal glands may burn out, leading to adrenal fatigue.

How does adrenal fatigue impact your weight?

Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released daily from the adrenal glands in small amounts, as a reaction to basic stressors in everyday life, including fasting, food consumption, waking up, and exercise. Cortisol is capable of moving and utilizing the body’s fat stores for energy under various “stressful conditions,” including exercise.  In this case, it will keep your body going during a marathon or long hike.  In the case of prolonged stress however, cortisol moves fat stores and deposits them deep in the abdomen.  In addition to storing fat in all the “wrong” places, high levels of cortisol can impact the hormones that regulate your appetite.  This may result in not only an increased appetite, but also cravings for high fat, high sugar foods.

In this case, stress is the reason you can’t seem to fight the fat.  If you have hit a plateau in your weight management program or have recently accumulated excess pounds, particularly around your abdomen and chin, hormone balance and stress-reduction techniques are a must for recovery.

What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Fatigue is just one of many possible symptoms associated with adrenal imbalance. You may also notice:

  • A reduced tolerance for stress
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Anxiety, depression or other mood problems
  • An increased susceptibility to infections
  • Cravings for sweet or salty foods
  • Sudden weight gain/inability to lose weight
  • Newly emerging allergies or chemical sensitivities
  • An intolerance of cold temperatures

What are treatment options?

Determining if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue is the first step to finding a cure. When testing for adrenal imbalance, physicians evaluate the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day; therefore it is optimal to evaluate levels at different points during a 24-hour time period. Saliva testing is the easiest and most accurate way to ascertain your cortisol levels and determine the health status of your adrenal glands.

If you are diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, there is a three-point plan to ensure you recover:

  • Hormone balance is the key step in maintaining adrenal health. The imbalance of just one hormone can disrupt the function of several systems and, in some cases, result in the decline of other crucial hormones. Get your hormone levels tested and develop a plan to achieve and maintain balance.
  • Modify your lifestyle to improve your ability to handle stress. The three cornerstones of good health are the best place to start – eating a healthy diet, maintaining a routine fitness regimen and getting plenty of quality sleep. You also need to find ways to reduce stress, such as relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
  • Supplements such as omega-3 and vitamin D, can help to fortify your system, increase overall health and assist in the recovery of your adrenal health

A List of ‘Don’ts’ from the Doctor


By Dr. Jeff Maehara

You may be used to your doctor telling you things like get more exercise, eat a healthy diet and get more sleep, but how often does your doctor tell you what not to do? Here are 5 things expert doctors agree you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t believe everything you read. It’s ok to do a little online research, but don’t take everything you read as fact. In the age of the internet, expertise and ability to publish are not necessarily synonymous. Get some information, write down your questions and discuss your symptoms with your doctor. This is the only safe way to ensure you are getting an accurate diagnosis – even a symptom checker may not offer an accurate diagnosis.
  • Don’t assume over-the-counter drugs are safe. Just because it’s not behind lock and key at your neighborhood grocer doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Over the counter meds come with warnings and restrictions. Read and follow directions exactly as printed on the bottle – and don’t mix medications. Check your medicine cabinet and throw out any medications that may be expired. In regards to retail herbs and supplements, proceed with caution – manufacturing standards are not regulated by any governing body.
  • Don’t keep secrets. To really help you decipher what has been ailing you, tell your doctor everything about health and medical concerns. Don’t assume that he or she simply knows. Discuss your symptoms, how you have been feeling compared to how you once felt. Also, be sure to disclose any medications, supplements or alternative therapies you have been taking. This information is essential to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Don’t mess with prescriptions. Just because it’s in a prescription bottle, doesn’t make the printed instructions and warnings any less important. Take your medications as your doctor prescribed and don’t hand them out to friends or relatives. A prescription is intended for the person for whom it was prescribed and no one else.
  • Don’t rely exclusively on your prescriptions. Everyone wants a quick-fix. There’s a reason the prescription drug industry is a billion-dollar business. But, relying on a pill to solve your health problems is not the way to be and stay well. Drugs are designed to assist healing when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. If your doctor gives you a prescription along with a recommendation for a healthy diet and exercise, you can be certain all are a required part of the treatment plan to achieve better health. There is no magic pill that can save you from poor lifestyle choices.

Worried about Bone Loss? Try these Natural Fixes


by Dr. Michael Grossman

Most women and a reasonable percentage of  men will experience the loss of bone density with age, which is known to cause hip fractures, spine fractures, and severe pain. Left untreated, these conditions can grow into more severe complications requiring hip surgery, which is costly and recovery is often challenging. Caring for your bone health now can significantly impact future outcomes and decrease the risk of fractures, sprains and pain. There are several ways you can care for your bone health, including natural therapies that are effective even into your golden years.

Read more on DrMichaelGrossman.com:

Natural Approaches to Osteoporosis and Bone Loss


Cool Jams Sleepwear Giveaway


Are you suffering from hot flashes and night sweats? Like many women dealing with menopausal symptoms it can be difficult to get a full night’s sleep especially, when you are hot and sticky. Hot flashes are caused by a hormone imbalance in the body. Environmental and nutritional aspects might also contribute to their uncomfortable intensity.

If you have tried everything from ice-cold showers to chill pillows then, cool-jams may be the long awaited answer to those sleepless nights.

win free pajamas for women

Cool-Jams are PJs that regulate body temperature by using wicking properties to absorb heat and moisture. They are wrinkle-free, static-free and odor and bacteria resistant. Cool-jams absorb moisture 3-4 times faster than regular cottons fabrics, polyester and woven. These PJs are doctor recommended for night-sweats and temperature regulation more than any other sleepwear brand.

Read about Renea’s experience with Cool Jams Sleepwear: Cool Jams for Night Sweats? 

Comfy Ride with Cool-Jams Giveaway

We have teamed up with Cool-Jams to give-away a pair of their fabulous PJs to one lucky contestant suffering from sleep depriving night sweats.

 To enter the contest you must:

  • Log-in to the weekly Cool-Jams sleepwear give away
  • Comment on one of the Cool Jams Menopause MANIAC blog posts sharing your thoughts
  • Include your name and email address (as submitted on the Cool Jams website) with your comment

 One lucky winner will be chosen from those who have commented on the Cool Jams post on Menopause MANIAC.com. Winner of the Cool-Jams sleepwear will be announced on Friday, June 28, 2013.